I’m thankful for . . . Part 4

So, I bet you thought I had forgotten about the little “mini-series” I started back around Thanksgiving. The one I was calling “I’m thankful for . . .”?? It’s likely after all this time that YOU forgot about it! I didn’t forget, really. It’s just that life kind of tripped me up and distracted me. It has a habit of wrapping me up in it, life does, and I have a hard time stepping back to take a moment to write down the things bouncing around in my head. Oh, but there are so many things to write.

Anyhoo, back to the subject matter of this post. Marissa Lynn, the 4th child in our line up of offspring. Our “Rissa-Roo”. Or “Riss”. Often just “Roo”. Short little names for such a big heart in a little package. Marissa is complicated. Oh my, is she ever difficult to sum up. But I’m going to do my best, and tell you 5 things I love best about her. Well, they may not be what I love *best*. Because tomorrow I’ll likely think of things I may love more and it’s kind of hard to narrow it down to just 5, but these came to mind the quickest and so they’re what’s going down.

June '06 005

#1 — Her water runs deep. You know, due to her speech delays at an early age, people would often make the mistake of thinking she couldn’t understand what THEY were saying just because she couldn’t SAY what she was thinking. But she was taking it all in. And still does. She’s computing and paying attention and analyzing. She’s thinking quickly and converses with people. I mean, answers questions and then asks some back. A genuine conversation, with such a little person. It’s beautiful. I’m often so amazed at what comes out of her mouth after such times. “I feel sad that . . . “ and “When [so and so] said [such and such], I thought in my head ‘That’s not appropriate’.”   I just love her depth.

marissa with aunt ruth, grandot's party

#2 — She is feisty. Whew, is she ever! You do not want to get on her bad side. We’ve chuckled (and imitated) a recent phrase of hers, “You’re makin’ me mad!” Complete with hand motions and a face showing implosion is near! Don’t be alarmed. We’re working on self-control. ‘Cause self-control is a good thing to learn sooner than later. But I love what a fire-cracker, spitfire she is. It has served her well, and we have oft seen why God made her that way. She’s fought through early-childhood seizures, belly-aches, and tests and therapies and misunderstanding of her. She’s got spunk and attitude and we pray for wisdom to guide it. But we love that God put it there in her. She’s a ball of fun and wit.


#3 — She’s thoughtful. I cannot get over how others-oriented she is; she has been from a very early age. About 4 years ago she took it upon herself to offer a glass of water to every visitor we ever had to our home. I remember the first time she did it. An older neighbor and I were standing in the driveway chatting about this and that, and she came out with a tall glass of water. We both looked down at her as she shoved it up towards him and smiled. You could have pushed him over with a feather! He was as surprised as I was. She said, “Some water for you.” It may have been warm water. It often was in those early days – she hadn’t yet mastered the faucet. But she learned to use cold water and add ice and *ask* if our guest(s) would like the water. And she serves just plain water in the most beautiful way.

ken's camera 544

#4 — She loves Jesus. Pure and uncomplicated. It was long ago when I heard her crying in her bed late one night. When I asked her why, she told me it was because Jesus died on the cross and she was so sad that he had to do that. After a discussion, and prayer together, we made a little trip downstairs to tell daddy that she’d accepted Jesus into her heart. And man, has she been growing since. I wouldn’t call her a natural rule-follower, but she is sincere in her desire to do the right thing before the Lord. She is black and white about what her little heart knows about God’s word. And she’s not afraid to stand up for right. (See #2. I suggest you do as she says. You don’t want to make her mad.)

drink with mom 12.18.14

#5 — She works hard. Many things don’t come naturally to her. She has to work hard at life and learning. Lately, she’s said things like, “I can’t run as fast as the others.” And “I’m not good at reading.” Yep, both true. And when she was telling me about the neighborhood kickball game? “I was the last one to be picked . . .” My heart almost broke for her. Almost. But you know what I learned in that sweet, fleeting moment? She’s the strong one. Not me. My never-been-picked-last self doesn’t know what it’s like to push past that. So what’s a mom to say in moments when one’s adorable little heart walking around outside my body is saying things like that? I agree and say, “You don’t have to be the fastest. Or picked first. Or good at reading. You just have to do YOUR best. Because God made you just right exactly the way you are. And He loves you. And so do we!” And she seems good with that. So she keeps doing what she’s done since she was a tough little 6 pounder: fighting hard. Putting in effort. Day after day, whatever is before her. Giving HER best, even when it’s not THE best. And I just love that about her.

walking the mini 9.2014


–Beth 🙂

P.S. If you missed the first 3 posts of this series, you can find them here, here, and here. Hint: they’re about our 3 older kids.

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17 thoughts on “I’m thankful for . . . Part 4

  1. Very cute! I’ve been waiting, not so patiently for these posts. 😉 It’s fun to hear updates on each of the kids. Rissa, I love your servant’s heart as well and am so amazed at how God has gifted you with that at such a young age! I remember being given one of those early warm cups of water! What a thoughtful and tender heart, a rare jewel to find these days. We’re so looking forward to seeing you soon!

    1. Sorry for the warm water, Crys! 😉 We can’t wait to see you guys either. And thanks for your patience! You know as well as I do how busy a family and household can be 🙂

  2. Wow. That just made me tear up (I think it was the last picture) and miss her. Riss really is such a caring and special young lady and a beautiful one at that. I always loved how she served people with her little cart and I know she’ll never lose that sense of hospitality she’s had since she was so little. Sweet. Love you, Riss! 😉

  3. Being a military family I found at times it was difficult to meet people and stay connected ad good friends. I have come a long way from thinking that way because we have been blessed with your amazing family. I have found that connection of friends I’ve never thought I would have. I live your children and “Riss” is such a lovely child. I find a special place in my heart for her especially when she picks on my husband. Thank you for being YOU, and thank you for the love you show, for the family you keep, and for your obedience in the Lord. YOU are a true friend. I look forward to many memories as our families grow closer. Thank you for sharing this story!

    1. Kimberlyn, this is just so sweet. We feel the same way about you guys! It’s been a tough several months for us being away from family and long time friends for the first time . . . Your friendship has helped us get settled here! Thanks so much for the encouragement. ♡

  4. When I saw Marissa get picked last at kickball last week, my heart hurt for her. She had such a hopeful expression on her face and it completely deflated. I wanted to run out there and hug her! You guys were running late to the Gathering on Sunday, but when the teams were picked for kickball, I put my foot down. I still had Marissa’s sad expression on my mind. Brad and Marc were picking teams and I insisted that they pick kids in pairs. They both looked at me kind of strangely. I said, “You are both athletic men and you have never been picked last for a team. I have. Pick kids in pairs so no one is picked last.” I could tell they still didn’t completely understand, but they complied. I wish Marissa had been there!

  5. I love the last picture of Marissa most. She is so loving, caring, serving, and more. I am SO lucky to have Marissa as a sister. I love you, Marissa!

  6. Beth,
    I did tear up when I read this. Such a lovely and beautiful tribute to a precious little girl with a huge servant’s heart.

  7. Doing a little catching up over here.

    I love this post about your sweet girl! I often wish we lived closer or could mingle our lives together more often – but I am grateful for internet and a shared bit of family history!

    We do look forward to having the opportunity to visit you guys some day though!

  8. Just had this post back in my inbox and loved reading it again. What a sweetie! And so love the pics of the kids together! They are thrilled to get the chance to be with you guys again! And also fun seeing Riss in the dresses Adele is in now! 😉